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01 Jul 2022

Ten year old Laois girl raises thousands for charities by chopping hair

Ten year old Laois girl raises thousands for charities by chopping hair

Aoife Holland from Cullohill before her big chop

A young Laois girl has done a very kind deed for three charities that mean a lot to her and her family.

Aoife Holland, 10, is from Cullohill where she is in 4th class with Miss Phelan at St Tigherneach's National School.

The youngest of six children of farmers David and Martina Holland, Aoife got it into her head to have her beautiful waist length brown hair cut off, after reading in the Leinster Express about another little girl from Portlaoise who did it for charity.

Aoife spoke to us to explain why she wanted to do her good deed.

"I decided to do it because my granddad had cancer and I know that people lose their hair from cancer. I sent it to the Rapunzel Foundation," she said.

Her big sister Orla set up a Gofundme page for Aoife, and people donated generously, raising a huge sum, €3,800.

It will be divided between the Irish Cancer Society, The Children’s Heart Centre and Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, who helped another member of the family. 

Her dad David explains.

"Her oldest brother Kevin was cared for in the hospital two or three times. He received the very best of care and made a lot of friends there in all the staff, who put him at ease in a very worrying time for all the family. 

“He contracted Kawasaki disease which causes aneurysms. He had to have a double heart bypass at the age of 14. He is 20 and flying it now. 

"My wife's father Leo Kelly from Monasterevin passed with cancer before Aoife was born, and he received great support from the Irish Cancer Society's palliative care team. This is an invaluable service. 

"We are very proud of Aoife, that she took the initiative. She is very mature for her years. Our family and friends and neighbours all donated and we thank them," her father said.

Aoife had planned to have her hair chopped on her birthday last July but with Covid restrictions it could not be done until November. Claire Ann Alley in the Catwalk hairdressers in Durrow did the honours, taking good care of Aoife with kindness and professionalism, the family said. Aoife now has a sleek new bob style. 

"I got 16 inches cut off. It feels good. Sometimes my long hair had got caught in my clothes, and it's quicker to wash now. But hopefully it will grow long again.

"Thanks to everyone who donated, I only expected to raise €1,000. The money is going to a good cause. I'd like to thank my mam and dad and family for helping me, and thank The Catwalk and everyone who donated," Aoife said.

She will be making a formal cheque presentation to the charities in the coming month. 

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